Product Type: Lush Oral Care
Newest Review: ... your teeth. The tab froths up on contact with water which is a clever little thing on Lush's part. One tab does create a good amount of foa... more
Your teeth will be anything but dirty after using these!
Lush Dirty Toothy Tabs
Member Name: AbsintheFairy
Lush Dirty Toothy Tabs
Advantages: Pleasant minty flavour, innovative idea, no fluoride
Disadvantages: More expensive than normal toothpaste, flavour quite subtle, no fluoride
My favourite shop ever is Lush. I spend so much money in there and love to try out all the new products. In fact I am currently in the process of sampling every single thing they have in there (except for the odd one or two which aren't suitable for me). Lush are very innovative and like to develop new concepts. As they are concerned about the environment, a lot of their products are solid which cuts down on packaging and preservatives. They already produce soap, body butter, shampoo and cleanser in solid form, but even I was surprised when they announced a range of solid toothpaste - Toothy Tabs.
***Toothy Tabs - eh, what?!***
Toothy Tabs were named in line with Toner Tabs (solid toner designed for steaming the face). They are small discs, about the size of a very small mint. They come in packs of 40, packaged in a black and white cardboard box - the white inner part is pushed out to reveal a small hole through which a Toothy Tab can be shaken. The box has a sticker with a cartoon picture of the person who made the Toothy Tabs and the expiry date. Using a box means that you can pop it in the recycling when you have finished with it, unlike the plastic and aluminium toothpaste tubes which end up in general waste. Only one Toothy Tab is needed each time you clean your teeth, so if you clean them twice a day as recommended, a box will last you 20 days (just under three weeks). This is about the same time as a normal tube of toothpaste - perhaps a bit less.
Toothy Tabs are available in the following flavours:
Breath of God
The Dirty Toothy Tabs were the first to be released, at the same time as the rest of the Dirty range. The range came out in 2011 and is the first range that is really aimed at men (though there's no reason why women shouldn't use it too). The range consists of a soap, springwash (shower gel), hair cream, body spray, shaving cream and, of course, these toothy tabs. Each of the items in the range is scented with a different kind of mint: peppermint, spearmint, and so on. The different mint scents combine together to create the whole Dirty scent.
***Using the Dirty Toothy Tabs***
These tabs are among the cheapest in the range, at £2 for a box of 40. They have a subtle mint scent. I found the box easy enough to open, and liked the idea of environmentally friendly packaging, although it had one major flaw - being made of cardboard, it went a bit soft in the steamy atmosphere of the bathroom. I ended up keeping the pack in my bedroom and taking out one toothy tab at a time to use, which was a bit of a hassle when I forgot and had to go back downstairs to get one.
To use a toothy tab, you should choose one, pop it in your mouth and crunch it between your teeth. One is enough - this way you only use just as much as you need, unlike with toothpaste where it is easy to overload the brush. Crunching the tab releases some foam, and if you get your toothbrush and start brushing your teeth more foam is released. You should brush your teeth for three minutes as normal before rinsing, and follow with floss and mouthwash if you use them.
I found that using these toothy tabs, initially my teeth didn't feel as clean as usual. This is probably because the spearmint taste was fairly subtle and there wasn't as much foam as usual. I normally like a strong toothpaste and lots of foam to keep my mouth feeling clean. However this effect was minimised as I used mouthwash afterwards, which freshened up my mouth.
As the days wore on and I got used to the toothy tabs, I realised that my teeth still looked clean and felt clean too, notwithstanding the lack of foam and flavour. Going about my day to day business, I certainly couldn't tell that I hadn't been using 'proper' toothpaste. I used the toothy tabs constantly for almost three weeks until they were used up, and could have gone on longer with no ill effects that I could see - although I didn't go to the dentist during this time, and I don't know what the long-term effects on my teeth would be.
Lush state on their website that they have been running a dental trial all year, in which volunteers use the tabs twice a day and attend regular monitoring sessions. However I would always be sceptical of ANY trial run by ANY company that wasn't completely independent.
***So what's in them?***
I don't normally copy huge lists of ingredients into my reviews, but this list is relatively small so I thought I might as well: Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Glycerine, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Spearmint Oil, Kaolin, Neroli Oil, Citric Acid, Sodium Saccharin, Limonene, Linalool, Flavour. The tabs contain no animal-derived ingredients, so are entirely suitable for vegans.
Dicalcium phosphate dehydrate is a gentle abrasive that helps to remove plaque from your teeth. Sodium bicarbonate, together with cream of tartar, cleans and whitens the teeth and is safe to use, as it is used regularly in cooking. In fact sodium bicarbonate is well known as an alternative to toothpaste if you can't/don't want to use it for whatever reason. Glycerine helps to soften the tongue and gums, while sodium lauroyl sarcosine is a surfactant, used in many major toothpaste brands, that helps to create foam. A surfactant also helps to dissolve the residue that builds up on the teeth.
Sodium saccharin, a widely used sweetener, makes the sodium bicarbonate taste less bitter. The tabs are flavoured with spearmint oil and neroli oil, which help to make the taste of them more palatable.
***What, no fluoride?***
I admit I was concerned about the absence of fluoride in these toothy tabs. I always believed that fluoride toothpaste was essential to clean your teeth properly and help prevent tooth decay. However it has also been suggested that it is the action of brushing your teeth with a toothbrush, as opposed to the kind of toothpaste you use, that makes the greatest contribution to teeth cleaning. In addition it's true that fluoride has been added to tap water in many areas of the country, and some people are concerned about avoiding products containing fluoride in case of potential 'fluoride poisoning'. I'm no scientist so all I can say is that each individual should make their own mind up. At least Lush have been honest about the fact that their toothy tabs do not contain fluoride, so customers can choose to use them or not as they wish.
***Would I buy Toothy Tabs again?***
Yes I would - as far as I could tell they cleaned my teeth just as well as normal toothpaste. They are good for the environment as well as being compact and easy to carry. They would be ideal for taking away on holiday (especially when you're flying as they are solid and don't count towards your liquid limit) or an overnight stay, and are handy to keep in your bag in case you need to freshen up during the day.
I wouldn't want to use them on a regular basis, however - personally I prefer a fluoride toothpaste, and I just don't know if my teeth would suffer long term if I was to switch to toothy tabs completely. I wore braces for three and a half years as a teenager and I wouldn't want to put all that effort to waste! Also, they are fairly expensive compared to normal toothpaste.
In summary, then, I would repurchase, but for occasional rather than regular use.
***Would I buy the Dirty tabs specifically?***
The peppermint flavour of these tabs is probably the closest to 'real' toothpaste out of the entire Toothy Tabs range, so I would recommend them for a newcomer to this kind of product. However I found that the scent and taste was quite mild and subtle and I'd prefer something a bit stronger. I would like to try some of the other flavours before I fix on these.
I hope this review has been useful, whether you've been thinking about trying Toothy Tabs or have never heard of them. Apologies for the long length of this review, but the tabs are a bit of a bizarre concept, so I wanted to make sure I was covering them properly!
Summary: Lush's innovative new solid toothpaste with a pleasant minty taste
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